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In this series of posts, I’m looking at what you need to think about to get your website to the top of Google search results. This mainly involves improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In this post, I cover the first steps to create a website for your small business.
The posts in this SEO basics guide are:
- How to get to the top of google for free
- The first steps to create a website for your small business
- Why Is SEO important for small businesses
- How to rank in Google – what is SEO and how it works
- SEO for business growth – how to structure your website
- How to get your website on Google’s first page creating relevant content
- How to find the best keywords for your website
- Website content ideas – how to create good website content
Once you have completed all of the steps in the first article in this series, the next thing for you to do is start thinking about your website. This post will walk you through the steps to create your website. Each step is part of the process of creating a website and is either a decision or activity that you will need to take.
Creating your first website is both exciting and a massive learning curve, in equal measures. Whether you choose to tackle the development yourself or hire a professional, the following list is the first step to creating a website, no matter what type of website you are building or who is doing the web development.
The more work you can put in upfront to get a clear vision of what you want to achieve will save you time and money in the long run. Especially if you are trying to explain your idea to someone else.
Website Content Planner
Building a website requires forward planning and structure. Here is your project checklist to guide you on all of the activities you need to work through to develop your website.
- Set your planned go-live date.
- Understand your perfect customer.
- Get inspired. Search Pinterest to find examples of websites, images, graphics, and colours you like or don’t like.
- Decide on what web pages are needed on your website. The more pages, the more work you have and the more opportunity to improve your SEO.
- Investigate keywords for each page, so you are working on your SEO from the outset.
- Draft each web page copy text or seek a professional copywriter.
- Source images for your website or seek a professional photographer. Remember to make sure you have the licence for using the image.
- Purchase a custom domain name (i.e. the website address where your website will be located). I like to use Namecheap to purchase my domain names.
- Where will you host your website? This is the storage where your website is built and directed on the domain; we recommend SiteGround or ask me about our hosting plan!
- Where will you host your emails? Your emails can usually be hosted as part of your web hosting package, but we recommend using a third-party service like Zoho, Mail365, or Google Workspace if you need a more comprehensive package.
- Email Capture (Mailing List). Set up any newsletter lists + funnels. Your website is the best place to start nurturing those potential customers. Grab their attention with an awesome freebie which they can get with the exchange of their email address. This way, your audience gets something of value, and you have a way of warming them up to trusting you and wanting to purchase from you. MailerLite is my personal choice of email marketing platform. It’s user-friendly and has drag and drop designs, templates, and automation. It’s also FREE for the first 1000 subscribers.
- Set up any social media. Think about social media that would resonate the most with your target audience (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest).
- Set up any 3rd party forms that need embedding.
- Proofread, grammar check, spellcheck, and SEO check all copy for your website.
- Review and finalise the content for the website. Determine what copy and what images are to be used on each page.
- Check links/social handles/ passwords are correct.
- Collate all content in one location (like a dropbox or Google folder).
- Share finalised content with the site designer.
Steps to create a website
All of the above steps are your initial activities BEFORE your website development starts. You’ll notice that the final task is to share your content with your site designer. This is not randomly placed.
If you have put in the work upfront, the web designer can concentrate on the web development, and you are not paying them to second guess what you want. Which means that it is a cost-saving for you.
If you want more help on how to start building your website just get in touch.